Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says she will stick on as leader even if the party's polling plummets.

Turei was defiant this afternoon after a lengthy caucus meeting following Green MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon decision to withdraw from the party's caucus, meaning they will play no part in the election campaign.

She said there was nothing that would make her step down as co-leader before the September 23 election.

"We are on track to actually improve our vote at the next election."


Asked if she would stand down if the next poll showed the Green support drop drastically, for example to about 8 per cent, Turei said she wouldn't.

"I'm committed to stay at least until the election... I know I have the support of my party and the support of my caucus."

Turei said she had been "hurt" by the MPs' decision to quit and the manner they did so, and said the attacks on her came from people who were opposed to the Green Party and their goals including ending poverty and cleaning up the country's rivers.

"They have made their decision, and I can't stop them doing that."

She accepted she had opened herself up to criticism, but did not agree with the level of enquiry into her circumstances and associated family members.

"There have been some quite wild accusations over the past few weeks, there will no doubt be more."

Co-leader James Shaw had last night proposed a harsher punishment, saying the caucus would discuss suspension or even expulsion.

But today he said the party had backed away from that plan today and were satisfied with the resolution it had come to. Under the agreement, Graham and Clendon will not comment to the media.


Asked what had changed since last night when Shaw said he would expel the two MPs from the party, he said, "I got some sleep".

Turei was flanked by MPs including Denise Roche, Catherine Delahunty and Julie-Anne Genter.

On their way into question time, Clendon and Graham said they stood by the statement they made yesterday, that Turei's position as co-leader was untenable, and that lying to a public agency can never be condoned.

Civil disobedience was sometimes justified when fundamental human rights were threatened, they said, but that didn't stretch to the adequacy of an income benefit.

Graham said after Turei's speech to the Greens' AGM in which she admitted benefit fraud "I and a few others sought an exemption on personal conscience to be able to say that we, and I as a Green candidate, do not condone lying beneficiary fraud".

"After some time and discussion that was granted. At that time, that was fine with me, we could move forward. It is the events subsequently, in the last couple weeks, that we have moved it into a broader issue of leadership."

Asked whether "a few others" meant other MPs were concerned about Turei's admission, Clendon said they were the only two MPs who had taken the stance of resigning.

On the fallout from their bombshell resignation last night, Graham said "I can sleep at night".

Co-leader Shaw last night told media Clendon and Graham had brought the party into disrepute. "Ask him again today," Graham said, after being asked about that comment.

Green Party candidate for Hutt South Susanne Ruthven is pulling out of the election race after taking a job in the public service and is leaving politics because of a conflict of interest.

She made the announcement at a local candidates debate on Tuesday night.